Bonneville Power Administration Timing System

Kenneth E. Martin

Abstract: Introduction - No Abstract Available The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is a power marketing agency for the U.S. Federal government. It was established to market power from the federal dams being constructed on the Columbia River and has evolved into the major bulk power supplier in the Pacific Northwest. BPA sells power produced at Federal generating facilities, coordinates the Columbia river hydro system, and transmits power for other utilities. Time is an integral part of BPA's operational systems. Generation and power transfers are planned in advance. Utilities coordinate with each other by making these adjustments on a timed schedule. Price varies with demand, so billing is based on time. Outages for maintenance are scheduled to assure they do not interrupt reliable power delivery. Disturbance records are aligned with recorded timetags for analysis and comparison with related information. Advanced applications like traveling wave fault location and real-time phase measurement require continuous timing with high precision. Most of BPA is served by a Central Time System (CTS) at the Dittmer Control Center near Portland, OR. This system keeps time locally and supplies time to both the control center systems and field locations via a microwave system. It is kept synchronized to national standard time and coordinated with interconnected utilities. It is the official BPA time. There are a few BPA applications which are not served by the CTS. BPA's traveling wave fault locator requires microsecond accuracy which is higher precision than IRIG-B can provide. This system, called FLAR for "Fault Location Acquisition Reporter," only has to be synchronized within the system and primarily uses a high frequency pulse over microwave. Some substations remote from the control center do not receive reliable time from the CTS. In some cases they used a free-running source manually reset on an occasional basis. In other cases a WWV or GOES timing receiver was used. Power system control and operation h described in the next section of this paper. After that BPA timing systems including CTS, FLAR, time dissemination, and phasor measurements are described. References are provided for further reading.
Published in: Proceedings of the 27th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting
November 29 - 1, 1995
The Doubletree Hotel at Horton Plaza
San Diego, California
Pages: 409 - 418
Cite this article: Martin, Kenneth E., "Bonneville Power Administration Timing System," Proceedings of the 27th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting, San Diego, California, November 1995, pp. 409-418.
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